U.S. DOT announces first-ever Pedestrian Safety Action Plan

Nov. 24, 2020

The goal of the plan is to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America’s roads

The U.S. DOT this week released the agency's first-of-its-kind Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. 

This effort is being overseen by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole Nason and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Deputy Administrator James Owens, with the goal of reducing pedestrian injuries and fatalities on America’s roads. 

According to NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 17% of all traffic fatalities in 2019 were pedestrians. In 2019—the most recent year for which data are available—6,205 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, 44% more than in 2010. Pedestrian fatalities are largely a phenomenon in urban areas during dark conditions, and typically increase in the fall and winter months.

“Reducing pedestrian fatalities is a team effort that requires collaboration between federal, state and local transportation leaders,” Administrator Nason said in a statement. “We need safer roads, and this plan provides a road map to get us there.”

In 2020, Administrator Nason started a national series of stakeholder discussions about pedestrian safety and launched “STEP UP,” a Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian campaign, to help states make roads safer for everyone.

The new Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will promote the expanded use of countermeasures, technology, and data-driven practices to address pedestrian fatalities and injuries.